Speaking at the opening of MoMA's 'Counter Space' show, curator Juliet Kinchin revealed herself as a kindrid spirit of KBCULTURE when she called the kitchen "a place that's funny, complex, sexy, scary—subversive, really." If you take the time to watch the historical [and sometimes hysterical] film clips, read the excerpts from vintage magazines, consider the hundreds of artifacts displayed and reflect on the fine art included in the exhibit, you will come away with a sense of the curious backstory of the room. [As well, you might recognize some items that have been featured on this humble blog.]
The museum draws extensively on its collection of industrial design for the show; a copious number of kitchen gadgets, cookware and faucets—both the efficient and the eccentric—are showcased in the middle of the gallery. The walls are filled with video monitors and posters. Conspicuous by their absence are major appliances; except as represented in the films, their design evolution is largely overlooked. But in all fairness, this subject is so very broad and deep it would be a challenge to do it justice in a single show. [That's a hint and a hope.]
Reporting on the reporters...it was great to see such a quality media turnout. Editors from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Architectural Record, the industry trade publications and more than a few television stations were in attendance. I was interviewed by NPR about the Frankfurt Kitchen; it's odd to imagine covering this show without the benefit of visuals, but that's the magic of radio.
You can breeze through this exhibit and come away enriched, but invest an afternoon on the premises and you just may find yourself enlightened. If you can't make it in person, the curators are posting on a regular basis throughout the duration of the show. I know I'll be reading.